Seoul: Day 2 Seoul Grand Park Part 2 – Seoul Zoo
Travel Period : 30 May – 5 June 2017 (Tues – Mon)
7 DAYS 6 NIGHTS IN SEOUL/JEJU ISLAND
The story continues from our First Post on Seoul Grand Park – Theme Garden.
A huge statue of a Tiger greeted us when we neared the entrance. Of course, we had to take a family photo (my dad took for us).
Entering the gates, we encountered a vast expanse of space…with no transportation in sight. Oh well, walk again.
There were statues of animals scattered around and Ling was so excited to see this gigantic seal that she quickly ran towards it and pointed it out to us.
My parent had to use the restroom so we stopped and viewed this African enclosure right next to it. The giraffes and zebras placed together was an interesting attempt to make the place look like a savannah. Ling was so excited because she recognised these animals which I had often showed her in baby stories. She kept pointing to them.
The variety of trees, beautiful plants and animals freely roaming in their “natural enclosure” was the positive experience. The negative part was that I felt a little tired walking for a long while to reach another enclosure, before we could even see something. The animals were spaced too far apart. I guess, I still can’t get use to Korean places being so huge.
Walking slightly uphill, we saw two Gorillas which was something different as we hadn’t seen one live before. The panels were quite blur though unfortunately and we couldn’t see clearly. One of it kept staring at us too, which was a little creepy. Frankly, I’m not sure whether it’s right to “enclose” gorillas for educational purposes, since they are such intelligent creatures.
LION, DEERS AND ANTELOPES
Moving forward, we visited the lion’s enclosure and only saw one with its back facing us from afar. There was a café where one could dine and watch the lions but it was not opened during our visit.
In comparison, there were many more enclosures with different types of deers, antelopes around. We were not so interested in them. Ling was more interested in running down the sloping land and Vin got tired trying to prevent her from falling over.
Soon, we decided to walk to the elephants area before calling it quits. The elephants enclosure were nice and they were freely roaming. I pointed it out to Ling because she had read about them.
There was still a large portion further down the Zoo which we didn’t have the time to explore. In fact, looking at the map, we had only walked about one-third of the place (And we are almost half-dead). Seoul Zoo was really huge! I find that it was quite tiring for us people with kids and elderly, to explore on foot. Why don’t they have trams inside or are Koreans very healthy, so this is like nothing to them?
Total Time Spent in the Seoul Zoo: 1 hr 25 mins
Good: The beautiful landscape and the wide expanse of space. The freely roaming animals in landscapes made to look like their natural habitat. I support this kind of zoo and dislike caged zoos. As we are frequent visitors to our country’s zoo, it was nice to see animals that we hadn’t seen before.
Con: The transportation they have around the park and passes above the Zoo, is the SkyLift – suspended in the air. It might not be for the elderly, babies or faint-hearted. Otherwise, it’s lots and lots of walking from one enclosure to the next, just to see one or two animals…Animals were quite far away to spot. I still wonder why there isn’t any tram around to bring us to see the animals..?? (Maybe it was a weekday)
Tip:If you have time to spare in your trip, it’s better to stay one whole day to experience the two to three parks fully as both have entrance fees. Otherwise, like us, you wouldn’t be able to see much. Skip if you have other plans for the day, as the transportation time out here to Seoul Grand Park (45mins-1hr) isn’t worth it (unless you are here to play at the Seoul Land Theme Park located in the same Seoul Grand Park).
More information on the official website with the online map of the Zoo. Suggested trails to see the animals takes about 2 hours each.
How to Get to Seoul Grand Park: Transfer to Subway Line 4 and arrive at Seoul Grand Park Station
SIDE- STORY 1: SNACK-LUNCH TIME
As we exited, we came across a stall with Korean Snacks and our hearts lifted! (especially my very bored parents…ha)
Each was supposed to be 3K and we started discussing whether to buy that popular bread hotdog snack that we usually see people blogged about.
“3 for 5K!” The stall owner called out to us. For a moment, we couldn’t believe our EARS. “Really?” We quickly went up to her to take all three snacks before she changed her mind. Until she gave us back the change, we were still unsure. I couldn’t eat the bread dog but I could eat the fish cake snack and Dar could eat the hotdog itself. Our parents saw us buying and we told them the price. It was such a bargain, of course they had to get it too!
Thus, we were able to enjoy snacking while walking the long way to the exit of the Zoo. Ling loves the fish cake snack too! Exiting the Seoul Grand Park, they bought even more fried dough and rice cake snacks from the earlier street hawkers we saw on our way in. We decided eating like this settled our “lunch” as we were quite full.
Food in Subway station
At the subway station, we came across people standing in front of a stall, eating “Oden”, a popular Japanese hot-pot dish with fish cake, boiled eggs, daikon etc in a dashi broth. This was the Korean version. We didn’t try but I was intrigued by how a group of women were just standing in front of the stall attendant, taking the items out from the churning soup in different metal compartments and enjoying their food.
Vin knew I didn’t eat much (cos I have a restrictive diet) and again, bought their Gimbap (korean sushi rolls) in a packet to share with me, in three different flavours. They were quite delicious but the kimchi one was a little spicy and I need to drink lots of water after that.
I was glad everyone was in agreement that we do not need to eat at a proper restaurant because we were running late for other itineraries for the day!
SIDE- STORY 2: HATS in Subway Station
Next, while moving towards the train lines to Lotte World Tower, we came across a shop selling all types of hat! Mum immediately popped in as she needed one after encountering the suffering heat yesterday. The hats were going cheap too with sale bargains and there were so many varieties to choose from!
At first, I was reluctant to get one since I have two (which we left at home). Then, I remembered how I would not survive without a hat in our upcoming Jeju itinerary if we are going to hike up the mountains under the sun! Thus, I looked all around for a suitable one which could be folded smaller when not in use. I found mine but there wasn’t any suitable ones for children and Vin refused to get one. My dad also didn’t want one (which I’m sure he regretted later).
This hat saved me countless times later because the weather was just too hot in Summer! No wonder we saw many Koreans wearing all kinds of hats, visors and covered up in full hiking attire with proper walking shoes. It’s actually quite common to wear hats in Korea and is part of their fashion.